Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Potted Plant Collection
My mom taught me to love plants.  She had quite a collection as I was growing up.  Now, I too have a collection.  I love all kinds, but I am partial to succulents and irises.  I am also really enjoying getting into herbs.
It has been several years since I have kept plants.  It got to be too much with a house full of wee babies.  
But, now my babies have graduated to helpers and I look forward to sharing my love of plants with them.
I would like to chronicle my collection here on the blog.  Here is my collection as it appears now.  Over the next few weeks, watch it grow with me to a wall of green and blooms.  

Emma Purse
Emma had just turned two when I made this purse.  It is one of those alterable wooden purses you find at a craft store.  I painted it and embellished it with butterflies...painted ones and sticker ones.
The pic is of Emma in her flower outfit she wore at her garden themed second birthday party.  
I used this purse for the longest time.  You can see a few nicks and scratches here and there, but I think it held up amazingly well for the treatment it got.  
I have put the purse up now.  I have some writings I did when I was pregnant with her that I will bind and put in the purse and give to her for a future birthday.  I think it will make a special gift.
Mayhaw Jelly Magic
One of our favorite jellies is some Mayhaw jelly made by a local gent.  We always keep some in stock, as I cannot fathom what sort of chaos would occur if we ever ran out.
Joseph was making the kids PB and J sandwiches the other day.  Emma noticed right away that there was almost no jelly left in the jar.  Panic started stirring at the dinner table.
The kids were discussing the nearing tragedy when Joseph pulled another jar from the cabinet and put behind his back.  He waved his free hand over the empty jar several times with much flair and uttered a magical encantation.  
Then, he switched the jars.  The kids were semi-distracted and did not see the actual switch.  They were amazed when they realized the jar sitting before them was now full.
Joseph was very proud of himself, as was I.  The kids are convinced that their dad knows enough magic to summon a full jelly jar.  They may take him on tour.  

Create and Share Journal:  Simple Background
I was going to make a project on a piece of plain yellow paper.  But, I wanted the background a little busier.  So, I found some similar themed flower acrylic stamps and inked them in coordinating colors.  I randomly stamped them over the paper with some of the images overlapping. (Due to my poor scan, you cannot see the light peach flower in the "blank" spots.)
Sure, this is simple.  But, it occurred to me that I was going to put this in my Create and Share Journal because I often don't think about this technique when I want a little going on in the background of a scrapbook page or card.  I often overlook this simple technique to add pizazz to a paper.  This went from a yellow page to something with interest and depth.  
Consider doing a simple random stamp background on some of your plain cardstock to design your own background paper.  It will be fun!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Letter Books
I have been making something I call letter books for about a year now.  I love to write letters!  When I do, I am verbose.  In the past, I have made something akin to a signature for a book...just a few pages folded in the center and bound together to a cardstock cover with some twine.  Of course, I spend a little time decorating that cardstock cover. 
I recently got the book, How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith.  Reading it has inspired me to take my letter books to the next level and try something new.  Here is my first letter book since the reformation.  I still have a decorated cardstock cover, but when you open it up, you find an accordian style enclosure which is part of the book.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Create and Share Journal:  Black and White Envie Deco
I love black and white imagery.  It is quick and fun to do.  The high contrast is very appealing to the eye.
I often decorate my envelopes with this style.  It is fun to juxtapose different style stamps together.  Even if they are very different in style, they will tie together in the monochromatic color scheme.
I am sure you could have a lot of fun making your own black and white rubber stamped collage.  I have done this with red ink on white/manilla paper.  Any color your prefer will do.
Just imagine the face of someone who receives your artsy envelop.  How could they not open it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Create and Share Journal:  Golden Blossoms
I love acrylic stamps.  There is no better way to place an image than by seeing where it is going.  I used a single stem stamp to stamp the vine image several times in dye based ink to make it seem to meander across the page.  I used a small blossom stamp to stamp the flowers in red pigment ink along the vine.  I further heat embossed the blossoms with red embossing powder to give them dimension.  My final touch was coming back with some champagne gold acrylic paint and painting in the negative spaces on the blossoms.  I was really happy with how this experiment turned out.  Can't you see this across the front of an envelope or on some stationary?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Create and Share Journal:  Recycled Envie
I admit it.  I am a pack rat.  I keep all sorts of stuff with the thought of reusing it at a later time.  I have been combatting this tendency over the last few years.  I have gotten rid of a lot of stuff and my life has been much improved over it.
But, it appears the last hold out for my pack rat self is the craft room.  With every wee bit of paper, I can see possibilities.  But, I have been being tough on  myself.  I don't want my craft room to be (even more) over run by clutter.
But, looky here!  This was a manilla envelope someone sent me some goodies in through the mail.  I cut it down and ripped it a bit to make it into a pocket.  After adding a little decoration, I stuffed in a sampling of things that littered my desk and now it is going to someone else as part of their journal.
It's a new use for something that ordinary people would throw away.  The good news is I didn't save it.  I did my idea right away and got the satisfaction of giving something a new life.  Plus, my desk is a bit cleaner!
Kuru Cardinal:  The Siege Has Ended?
No banging on my window this morning.  Could the siege be over?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kuru Cardinal:  Day 6
*sigh*  Yes, he is still at it.  He has lost some of his vigor, but it appears he is intent on making his presence known.

Letter from God
We had a medical bill that we were waiting on the insurance to cover.  It was taking a little while to get a response on it, so we were a bit concerned.
Finally, the insurance letter arrived stating the bill had been paid.  I was so happy.  I said a prayer of thanks then turned to the kids and said, "Do you guys know we are really blessed?"
Emma looked up at me and said, "Was that a letter from God?"
I told her not directly, but he did have a hand in it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Create and Share Journal:  Clean Desk Collage
Here is another Clean Desk Collage.  Can you tell I think these are fun?  This is the third one I have done over the last month or so.
This one will go live in someone else's Create and Share Journal.  I hope they find it fun and inspirational.
Thanks again to Jan for introducing me to gel medium.  I used it to seal this collage.
Gel medium, where have you been all my life?
Kuru Cardinal:  Day 5
I got my morning wake-up splat, but I think he is loosing his fevor.  There have been long pauses between ramming the window.  Maybe he is getting ready to give up?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Kuru Cardinal:  Day 4
I don't think this bird even eats.  He is back at the window this morning.
Sometime in the night, Miss Evy got in our bed.  As we were laying there with the first rays of light peeking through the curtain, listening to the red bird slam himself over and over again into the window, Miss Evy sits bolt upright and says:  "Birds are supposed to get into nests, not houses.  People live in houses." 
We asked her to explain this to the bird.  She started making squeaky sounds, but I think she was using the wrong dialect because he still bouncing off the window.
Here is an artist's (Joseph's) rendering of the offending bird.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
This has got to be one of the best places in Mississippi.  We love it every time we go.  The kids earn money to save to go to this.  
The exhibits center around fauna and flora found in Mississippi.  They always have a visiting exhibit that is of extra interest.  The current exhibit is a hands-on about recycling and living green.
The kids love watching the fishes, turtles, snakes, and gators in the giant aquariums.  We love watching them watch.
Yesterday, we added a picnic and hike to our museum adventure.  The museum is located on one side of Le Fleur's Bluff State Park.  The Pearl River runs through the park and there is camping on the opposite side near a lake.
We walked about three miles through the woods.  It was probably the best day out we have had in a long time.
We even crossed paths with a green snake, in situ.  He seemed more real outside the museum.  
If you haven't been, go to the museum.  No disappointments here.
Kuru Cardinal:  Day 3
Yep.  He's still there.  Banging himself into our bedroom window.
This morning, I dreamed I was eating tiny little drumsticks.

Create and Share Journal:  Scrapwork Sun
I am pretty sure I came across this idea in one of the Somerset publications.  I stamped a face and used a round punch to punch it out.  Then, I scavenged through all my scraps on my cutting table and made the rays of the sun.  They are just narrow strips of paper, normally tossed away.  I cut a point at the end and glued the blunt end to the back of the round sun face.
Ta da!
Simple.  Fun.  Done.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Kuru Cardinal
Yesterday morning we awoke to something attacking our bathroom window.  I soon discovered it was a cardinal flying into the glass.  I put a large, multi-colored gift bag over the window to discourage him.  I thought he might be fighting with his reflection.
He then flies around the house and starts hitting our bedroom window.  I move the curtains and turn on the lights, all in an effort to get him to go.  
We leave around lunch and when we get back that evening, he is still flying into the window.
When it gets dark, he goes off to roost.
Guess who was at our window first light this morning.  
I once felt pity for him.  Now, I just want him to go away. 
Joseph must have had developed my same sentiment, because he got out of bed and went and got his air rifle.  Sadly, the air rifle of his youth has seen better days and was unable to help him carry out the sentence of natural selection he bestowed upon this deviant member of class Aves.
Right now, I hear it...at the window.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Swing Set
The month of April is a month of birthdays at our house.  This year, Grandpa Ray got the kids a swingset.  The kids went crazy when they realized they had a "playground" at their house.  
Many hours have already swung and slid away.  During this cold snap, we dressed in our fleecey pajamas to brave the cold to swing!

Tea with Grammy
Recently, Emma was invited to a very special Grammy and Granddaughter Tea in Laurel.  They got to dress up fancy and learn proper etiquette for tea time.  Emma was estatic because she was the only one old enough to go.  Yet, I think she turned out to be the youngest one there.
They had lots of fun and Emma talks about it often.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Easter Cards
Every few days for the past week, the kids have been making Easter cards.  It has been a fun craft project for us to do.  It is always interesting to see how they are getting better at placing things and manipulating a glue stick.  
Here are some beauties they did.
The top card is by Emma.  She wanted bells on her card, thus the hangers on to the left.  Simon did the card in the center.  Evy did the last card. 

Create and Share Journal:  Cherish
I have really been enjoying some Pearlescent inks I got a while back.  I've been doing some things with them combined with some acrylic gold paint, and here is an example of one of them.  The blue is the pearlescent ink.  The gold is the acrylic.  The configuration of the colors reminds me of a river.  
The word and bird is from the transparency film that came with acrylic stamps.  I cut out around the images and applied them to the dry background with gel medium.  I am very happy how gel medium works in applying vellum or transparencies.  It dries so clear.  

Create and Share Journal:  Clean Desk Squares
I love this technique.  It is so simple.  You can use the itty-bittiest scraps which helps you clean up your desk.  It doesn't even require a lot of thought.  Perhaps, it is the most perfect technique I have found yet.
Some folks says it reminds them of inches or serendipity squares.  It reminds me of patch work quilts.
I scavenged all the bits on this page from stuff that had gathered on my desk.  The background is the left over of an old encyclopedia page that I had already cut up for the illustration.  I ended up coating most of the squares with gel medium to add some color depth. 
I am especially proud of the flower square on the bottom row.  The center is a bit of lace I cut out.  It looks really cool in person.
I like how this one turned out.
Create and Share Journal
I am bottomless well of project ideas.  My latest is a "Create and Share Journal."  I chose a 6" by 6" format to make it a standard size.  It seems a good size for a sharing project.  It isn't so big to seem overwhelming to fill, but large enough to communicate something useful.   The project officially starts April 15th on Snagging Stampers.  But, who can wait?
The topics of this journal project are chosen individually by the participants, but all the entries have to have something to do with crafting.  Anything from a "dear diary" type entry where you talk about what you did that day in your craft space to a sample project with a how-to. 
I think everyone that participates is going to have fun.
I will be sharing pages here on the blog as I complete them.  So, even if you aren't officially participating, you can follow along.  Maybe it will inspire you to do something like this for yourself!  Of course, you are always welcome to join us at Snagging Stampers to get in on some shared fun.